PSAP Digital Trends: Big Data and Analytics

During our recent webinar, Understanding How PSAP Interoperability Is Advancing Command & Control, Alex Richardson, a market analyst focused on critical communications at IHS Markit shared some of his findings on how digital technology and Big Data are changing command and control rooms.

I followed-up with Alex to get more in-depth insights specific to Big Data, analytics, and predictive analysis.

Big Data is changing the way command and control centers capture, store, and analyze data. When public safety answering points (PSAPs) are regionalized, how does that change the way they manage large amounts of data?
When PSAPs are regionalized, an entity receives a much wider range of data input types and a greater volume because of the higher number of calls taken, more units in the field, and more incidents addressed. What this means is regionalized PSAPs produce greater amounts of data, which leads to more opportunities to identify trends that support decision-making.

For this reason, I see these larger PSAPs as great candidates for Big Data analytics. On top of this, because they can pool their budgets together, they are usually more able to secure funding for costly analytics platforms. Smaller PSAPs tend not to use data analytics because the need to cost ratio is not favorable. Larger PSAPs on the other hand, can make a case for the investment.

Agencies are seeking analytics solutions to help them do their jobs more efficiently using fewer resources. Because of the many moving parts in a large PSAP, analytics and data management can be a great help.

Because PSAPs are more on the operational side, they would not be doing the analytics directly. However, incident data, audio (both on the caller-side and radio-side) and other data can be pulled from these facilities into a real-time crime center, which focuses on analytics in particular and would use their findings to assist with districting and resource allocation or to assist in criminal investigations.

What trends do you see for video analytics?
We are hearing about video being integrated into control rooms more and more, and it is evident this is the direction the world is headed. Large cities have extensive surveillance infrastructure so it makes sense to bring this into the control room. We are also hearing about much more convergence between dispatch and other applications like CAD, which is where video will connect.CAD or some type of incident management system will be the aggregator.

The issue with video is that there is so much of it and it takes up a lot of bandwidth. There is no way a call-taker or dispatcher can sort through this data manually. For this reason, PSAPs need something like video content analysis. Although the PC-based video content analysis software market is expected to show very slow growth, video surveillance equipment vendors are increasingly embedding their own analytics rather than buying them from third-party suppliers. This is so vendor customer support will be more straightforward. In other words, the market for surveillance devices with embedded VCA software is expected to grow much faster than the PC-based side.

If you missed the webinar, Understanding How PSAP Interoperability Is Advancing Command & Control, be sure to check it out today!

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